by S. Harrison
Review by Mel Jacob
Skyscape Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781503945074
Date: 01 November 2015 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Infinity Lost by S. Harrison is a cautionary tale of technology run amok. It begins with the education of a young child, Finn, short for Infinity, and ends with a horrific coming of age awakening. Throughout, Harrison tests the boundaries of reality and what it means to be human.
Infinity Blackstone is the daughter of Dr. Richard Blackstone, tech guru and president of the premier technology company, and his wife Genevieve. Blackstone Technologies dominates the economy, providing high tech products including robots, androids, and intelligent weapon systems.
Some readers may find the constant shifts from one period in Finnís life to another confusing at first as the story shifts from her childhood to her teen years and back. Finn has strange dreams of violent events she doesn't remember as real and doesn't understand at first.
Servants care for Infinity in the family home. Her tutor, Jonah Brogan calls her Finn and teaches many things including how to defend herself. Precocious, Finn, by age six, has taught herself to read and to use weapons for defense.
She has no memories of her parents, but expects to meet them at the celebration planned for her sixth birthday. The day does not go well. The guests include a group of company investors and officials who subject Finn to an intimate investigation. Angry and ashamed, Finn fires a gun above their heads and frightens them.
That evening, a shadowy figure Finn takes to be her father gives her the black diamond pendant her mother wore, telling her to wear it always. Its real significance is revealed later in the novel.
As a gifted teen, Finn along with others is taken to visit the Blackstone laboratories. There, Finn and the group are welcomed by an android that is the image of Genevieve Blackstone. The visit causes Finn to question reality and whether her dreams/visions are real. Infinity views reality one way and Finn the other. Infinity wants revenge at any price. Finn wants to be with her friends.
Other authors too numerous to mention have raised questions over technology gone mad, especial artificial and self-replicating intelligence. Isaac Asimov's three laws of robotics were intended to ensure automatons did not kill their creators. What laws/rules apply when one artificial intelligence destroys another, especially if one was originally human and acts to save humanity? Or are both mad and equally deserving of destruction.
Some may wonder if Harrison had one or more of the current technological and weapons firms in mind. If readers can adjust to the shifting narrative, he poses troubling questions for them to answer.